I briefly encountered the patent system twice during my education, where I and a group of my peers were required to develop and market a product. Part of the development process was to investigate the various forms of intellectual property protection available to us. In both of these instances, the patent system struck me as an interesting mix of both technical and literary skill. In particular, the role of Patent Attorney seemed to offer a unique and interesting way to apply my degree.
My first impression of Elkington and Fife was a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, which would provide me with both the support and challenging work that I was after. After receiving my offer, I joined the electromechanical group in August 2016.
Upon joining, I was immediately involved with real client work and felt as though my input was making an important contribution to each case. The group handles a broad range of technical areas, meaning that each case is different and provides a unique challenge. The diversity of work I have been exposed to as part of the training process has increased over time, allowing me to familiarise myself with different areas of the patent system at a steady pace.
A typical day will involve working on several different cases, often at different stages of the patent process and concerning different technologies, and so the ability to manage a variety of tasks and targets is important. Our role is to provide a service to a client, which means completing work to the highest possible standard within the deadlines given to us. As I have progressed through the initial stages of my training, I have found that I am given an increasing amount of responsibility in managing my own caseload and deadlines. This level of trust between members of the team allows new trainees to feel like valued members of the firm straight away.
The goal of any trainee is to eventually become fully qualified, which means exams and requires a significant investment of time outside of work to be dedicated to independent study. However, the process is rewarding in both increased confidence in your work and the achievement of clear career milestones with each exam.
I have found this job to be interesting, challenging and rewarding during my time here. I would recommend that anyone interested in joining the patent profession do so with Elkington and Fife.